A British police officer has been sentenced to eight years in prison for the murder of Dalian Atkinson, a former professional football player who died after being tasered and kicked in the head.
LONDON – A British police officer was sentenced on Tuesday to eight years in prison for the murder of Dalian Atkinson, a former professional football player who died after being tasered and kicked in the head.
Benjamin Monk was acquitted of murder, but jurors heard he pleaded guilty to murder after a bootless impression was left on Atkinson’s forehead.
Monk, 43, claimed he acted in legitimate self-defense as officers tried to subdue former Aston Villa star Atkinson, 48, during a brawl in August 2016. Police were called to Atkinson’s home in Telford, central England, after neighbors reported a disturbance. Monk told the court that Atkinson, who was suffering from a mental health crisis, threatened and feared for his life after breaking the pane of a glass door.
Prosecutors said Monk used a stun gun against Atkinson for 33 seconds — six times longer than the norm — and kicked the football player in the head at least twice.
Atkinson died in hospital about an hour after the incident.
In the UK it is extremely rare for police to be convicted of manslaughter or manslaughter over deaths that occurred in custody or during public contact.
According to the charity Inquest, which supports bereaved people in state-related death cases, the last such conviction was in 1986. The group said Monk’s sentence is believed to be the first time that a British police officer has been found guilty of murder. a black man